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The poetics of place: travel in premodern Japan

Sugimoto, Mike 2018. The poetics of place: travel in premodern Japan. Asian Literature and Translation (ALT) 5 (1) , pp. 105-145. 10.18573/alt.33

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Abstract

The study of Asian cultures from the Western academy has been characterized as Orientalism, the ‘goods’ in knowledge a cultural parallel to the territorial gains won in the heyday of Western colonialism. For some key Euro-Americans, knowing the foreign Other was an antidote to a perceived dead end of Western science and rationalism. Simply put, Asia resonated as social and philosophic plenitude. In this regard, premodern Japanese poetry, with its 1300 year-old, lyrical tradition, was seen as a tradition of immanence and, therefore, as a welcomed alternative to Western philosophic abstraction. Countering this, I suggest that utamakura (canonized, poetic place names) as a regulative, interpretive category from the earliest 7th century anthology of the Manyoshu on through the medieval period ending in the 17th century suggests a formidable idealist tradition, which regulated expectations and experience of travel in the premodern period.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 2051-5863
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 January 2019
Date of Acceptance: 1 March 2018
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2020 11:50
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/118197

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